An Air Force officer now leads the team responsible for outfitting military service members with uniforms, equipment and more, by taking the reigns as Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Clothing and Textiles’ director.
Air Force Col. Melvin Maxwell came on board in early August after serving at the Pentagon as chief of the enterprise strategy and analysis branch under the deputy chief of staff at Air Force Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Maxwell was joined by family, friends and new colleagues when he was promoted to colonel Aug. 30 during a ceremony officiated by DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly.
“I am really proud of my past accomplishments, but I’m really excited about being a part of DLA Troop Support,” Maxwell said during his promotion ceremony. “I’m really excited about Clothing and Textiles and I’m really excited about supporting the warfighter.”
In the following Q&A, Maxwell talks about his first visit to DLA Troop Support, working in a joint environment, his expectations as the C&T director and his thoughts about joining the DLA Troop Support team.
Have you ever been to Philadelphia?
I’ve been to Philadelphia a number of times for small visits. I visited Philadelphia and DLA Troop Support in 2006 when I was a young captain as part of the Advanced Logistics Readiness Officer Course that used to be run out of the Air Mobility Warfare Center (now Expeditionary Center) at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. The only thing I remember from that visit was coming to the Flag Room!
What were your thoughts about coming to DLA Troop Support when you received orders?
I had expected to stay in the Washington, D.C. area, so I was surprised to hear I was coming to Philadelphia I was not really familiar with the mission of DLA Troop Support or the Clothing and Textiles supply chain. It wasn’t until I looked at the DLA Troop Support website and saw the Flag Room videos that I realized I’d visited in the past.
What is your goal for your time as the C&T director?
To learn as much as possible of the Clothing and Textiles supply chain and enterprise, to strengthen and reinforce the already outstanding C&T reputation with our [military] service and industry partners and to provide the best warfighter support possible.
What is one lesson that you learned from Air Force Headquarters that you are bringing to DLA Troop Support?
More than I may have understood in the past, the last few years in the Pentagon have awakened me to the fact that we have to improve our readiness levels in order to ensure the joint force can meet the pacing threats facing our country. I believe logisticians and supply chain professionals have an enormous role in setting conditions today in order to enable operational success tomorrow.
What is your leadership philosophy?
Exemplify Air Force core values of “integrity first, service before self, [and] excellence in all we do.” Focus on mission, preach ownership and build team momentum.
What is your favorite aspect of the joint environment?
I enjoy learning about the unique and different service perspective and cultures.
What are your thoughts on having a primarily civilian workforce?
It is actually exciting to be a part of an organization with so much organizational knowledge and continuity. In a previous command [at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska], I took over the most efficient organization that was almost exclusively a civilian organization. That workforce was extremely knowledgeable and dedicated.
What do you do to relax?
I love to play golf — although I’m probably not doing it right because it is often not relaxing.
Do you have a favorite sports team?
College Football: Air Force Falcons—fall is a great season when the Falcons play well. May the Army-Navy game always be a fight for second place!
Pro Football: Denver Broncos – While in elementary school, I grew up in Albuquerque, N.M. and you were either a Dallas Cowboys fan because they played on CBS or a Denver Broncos fan because they played on NBC — I chose Denver.
If you want the employees to know one thing about you, what would it be?
That I might always look serious and concerned, but I just have “resting serious face” — I’m a pretty happy and approachable guy.